The urban political ecology of ecosystem services: The case of Barcelona

Depietri, Yaella, Kallis, Giorgos, Baró, Francesc and Cattaneo, Claudio, (2016). The urban political ecology of ecosystem services: The case of Barcelona. Ecological Economics, 125 83-100

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Depietri, Yaella
    Kallis, Giorgos
    Baró, Francesc
    Cattaneo, Claudio
    Title The urban political ecology of ecosystem services: The case of Barcelona
    Appearing in Ecological Economics
    Volume 125
    Publication Date 2016
    Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Publisher Elsevier B.V.
    Start page 83
    End page 100
    Language eng
    Abstract This paper advances two arguments. First, the liveability of modern cities depends to a large extent upon urban and peri-urban ecosystems and their services. Second, these services are not only a gift of nature, but co-produced by human labour. Ecosystem services, in other words, are not just natural; they are also the outcome of historical, political, economic and social endeavours. We support our case with a study of the city of Barcelona and the adjacent Collserola Natural Park. Through an inter-disciplinary project combining biophysical, historical, and archival research, interviews and activist research we show that, first, the liveability of Barcelona highly improves because of the services provided by the ecosystem of Collserola. Second, that Collserola was not originally a pristine forest; it became one after agricultural abandonment institutional interventions and the action of social movements. If ecosystem services are co-produced by human action, and social struggles, as we argue is the case of Collserola, then this has implications for the ways ecological economists think about ecosystem services, their value and valuation. Whereas the social production of ecosystem services may seem an obvious and intuitive idea, it certainly challenges the foundational aspects of monetary valuation.
    Keyword Ecosystem Services
    Political ecology
    Copyright Holder Elsevier B.V.
    Copyright Year 2016
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 09218009
    DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.03.003
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    Created: Mon, 02 May 2016, 23:23:43 JST